Five policemen have been held guilty of “not taking balanced action” on complaints of villagers of Umbha village in Sonbhadra district where 11 persons were killed and several others were injured in firing by the same accused on July 17 last year. A probe report has recommended that the five policemen be penalised and that 30 days’ of their salary be cut.
“Direction has been issued to deduct 30 days’ salary of all five policemen for failing to execute balanced action into the matter,” said Superintendent of Police, Sonbhadra, Ashish Srivastava.
The firing had taken place after Umbha village head Yagyadutt and his family members, who had claimed to have purchased the disputed land in 2017, attempted to take possession of the plot on which Gond community people were farming for several decades.
All five policemen have been held guilty of negligence and dereliction of duty.
These include then SHO of Ghorawal police station, Shiv Kumar Mishra, then sub-inspector Mul Chand Chauhan and three constables, Kanhaiya Lal, Sudhakar Yadav and Pramod Kumar Singh. All five are presently posted outside Sonbhadra district.
The SP said the action against the policemen comes on the basis of an inquiry conducted on a report prepared by Additional Director General (ADG), Varanasi zone and a team of senior administrative officials was sent to Sonbhadra by the state government to conduct a probe.
“Notices will be sent to the districts concerned where these five police personnel are presently posted. We have found that Shiv Kumar is posted in Azamgarh and Mul Chand Chauhan in Ballia. We are trying to collect information about the constables,” said a
Three FIRs were also lodged against members of the Gond community too at the Ghorawal police station before the July massacre. The police had earlier investigated and filed chargesheets against 55 villagers. After the incident, police again conducted fresh investigation in all three cases after seeking permission from the court and submitted a report stating that the allegations against the villagers were found to be false.
The SP added that before the July 17 incident last year, local police had booked people on both the sides, the villagers and the accused, under Goonda Act and the probe found that “action taken was not balanced and unbiased.”
Sonbhadra police had filed chargesheet against 51 accused.
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